Barclay College Ministry & Culture
Singing groups have always been a large part of the ministry and culture of Barclay College. There have been many excellent directors and groups over the years, from Roy Clark in the early 40s and 1954-1963 to Frank Fortunato in the early 70s to Bob Ham in the 80s. The Barclay choir has travelled and ministered to many people across the United States. Del Huff was the director from 1989 to 1992 and took the choir to North Carolina. Brenda Choate directed from 1992 to 1997, and Margaret Pent directed from 1998 to 2000. Dr. Jared Ross took over in the fall of 2000 and has directed the choir until the present. He took the choir on tour to South Texas, the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as well as many Sunday morning trips within two hours driving distance from Haviland. Dr. Ross had the choir perform at many alumni functions as well as commencement each Spring.
The Heralds organization was a student organization started in the 1920s to organize and send out groups from the school. Groups were called Gospel Teams and usually included a quartet (both men’s, women’s and mixed) along with a pastoral ministry student that preached and conducted the entire service.
Traveling Made Easier
A New Tradition is Formed
“Old Woodie” was the transport vehicle for “Gospel Teams” sent out by “The Heralds.” People in the community were asked to transport the students, but by 1947, the Heralds had saved enough money from the offerings they were given to buy their own car for travel.
During the spring of 1947, 45 students were enrolled in private vocal and piano music lessons. Roy Clark became the choir director in 1954 and started a tradition where the choir entered from the back of the auditorium, singing “How Firm a Foundation.” They started with the melody, then added parts until they arrived at the front, singing all four parts.
Quartet Festival Begins
Professor Clark also started the Quartet festival in 1956. The entire festival was quartet music by students on campus and by quartets that came to sing from as far away as Oregon. By 1959 the festival became so popular that there were about 1400 in attendance.
Under the direction of Jared Ross, Barclay students sang with alumni at the Alumni Weekend in 2011.
Dr. Jared Ross directed the choir at the 2019 commencement in the new Ross-Ellis Center for Arts and Ministry.